2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 10 Feb 2003 14:29:19 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] APGSCC Perchlorate article
The following article is from the January 2003 edition of COMING CLEAN,
newsletter of the Aberdeen Proving Ground Superfund Citizens Coalition.

For more information, contact  Glenda Bowling <gbowling@comcast.net>

Has the DOD Succeeded in Harnessing the EPA?
"Unprecedented" Pressure to Remain Silent on Perchlorate Risks Leaves
Aberdeen Residents in Limbo

Since May 2002, APGSCC has been reporting on the perchlorate
contamination in the City of Aberdeen wells and on our efforts to get
treatment of the contaminated wells to insure that Aberdeen residents
will not be exposed to higher concentrations of perchlorate in the
drinking water.

We know from extensive research on perchlorate and the thyroid in
general, that exposure to concentrations above 1 ppb in the drinking
water could pose a health risk to certain sensitive individuals,
including pregnant women, babies, children and people with some chronic

While critics argue that we do not have sufficient information for the
EPA to set a standard, we will never have complete scientific
information about perchlorate (or any other chemical, for that matter).
When there are ongoing human exposures, we believe that the EPA and the
state have the right and the responsibility to take action to reduce
those exposures while the scientists sort out the details of the data.
It is simply not acceptable to allow humans to continue to be exposed to
a chemical that could pose a health risk.  Stop the exposures now...ask
more questions later!


The cost to clean up the perchlorate in Aberdeen is only about a million
dollars, which is well within the scope of APG's restoration budget.
But the use of perchlorate by the military has been so wide-spread
across the US, that there are hundreds of communities, particularly in
the Southwestern US that have perchlorate in their drinking water.
Meanwhile, in the Southwestern US military contractors who manufacture
solid rocket fuel continue to release massive amounts of perchlorate
into the environment where it contaminates surface and groundwater

Given a 1 ppb drinking water standard, it is likely that the Department
of Defense (DoD) will need to spend billions of dollars to clean up
sites contaminated by testing and training activities, as well as by
rocket fuel production by defense contractors.

In an attempt to avert these costs, DoD has mounted an effective
campaign to harness EPA so that they will remain silent on the
perchlorate issue. According to one high-level EPA scientist who spoke
with an APGSCC technical advisor on the condition of anonymity, the
pressure has been "unprecedented".

It is unacceptable that the DoD applies or is allowed to apply this type
of pressure to the EPA. NO POLLUTER has the right to pressure the EPA
into adopting or abandoning specific policies that are favorable to the
polluter.  EPA has the right and duty to conduct its scientific reviews
in the absence of such pressure.

Moreover, APGSCC resents the fact that the cleanup of contamination at
APG is being blocked due to the problem the DoD has on the national
level. The hard-won process that we have developed in solving APG's
environmental problems is in jeopardy due to the interference of the DoD
in local issues.

COMING CLEAN is published by the APGSCC, advocates for the citizens of
Harford, Baltimore, Cecil, Kent Counties, and Maryland.

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